Six BRS MLCs defect to Congress, causes huge setback

The Chief Minister formally inducted the MLCs into the party in presence of state revenue minister, Telangana AICC in-charge and other members.

Six state legislative council (MLC) members of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), led by former Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, defected to the Congress on Friday, dealing a severe blow to the party.

At a meeting at a hotel on Thursday night at around 11.30 p.m., the six MLCs—T Bhanu Prasad Rao, Baswaraj Saraiah, Dande Vittal, M S Prabhakar, Yegge Mallesham, and Boggarapu Dayanand—decided to move to the Congress.

“At around 1 am, they went to the residence of Telangana Congress president and chief minister A Revanth Reddy who just returned from New Delhi and met him to express their interest in joining the party,” a Congress leader familiar with the development said.

In front of state revenue minister Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy, Telangana AICC in-charge Deepa Das Munshi, and other top Congressmen, the chief minister formally inducted the MLCs into the party.

The ruling party now has 10 members in the 40-member state legislative council, down from 25 when six Bharat Rashtra Samithi MPs defected to Congress. The Bharat Rashtra Samithi strength has decreased to 19 members. In addition, two AIMIM members, one from the BJP, one from the PRTU, and one independent are among the four MLCs who have been nominated; the remaining two seats are empty.

Image Source: TRS changed to Bharat Rashtra Samithi party

Danam Nagender, Kadiyam Srihari, Tellam Venkat Rao, Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, Dr. Sanjay Kumar, and Kale Yadaiah are the six MLAs that the BRS has already lost to the Congress in the recent five months.

Working president of the Bharat Rashtra Samithi and former minister KT Rama Rao took a hard line against the Congress for orchestrating the BRS defections. Venting his frustration, he took to X, claiming that the defections went against the Congress manifesto, which called for a revision to the Tenth Schedule that would have immediately disqualified elected members who switched parties.

He recalled that BRS Rajya Sabha member K Keshava Rao resigned after joining Congress. “We welcome his decision. What about the BRS MLA who defected and contested Lok Sabha on Congress ticket? What about half a dozen other BRS MLAs who defected to Congress?” he asked.

“@RahulGandhi is this how you are going to uphold the constitution? If you can’t make BRS MLAs resign, how would the nation trust that you were committed to Schedule 10 amendments as per Congress manifesto? Yeh Kaisa Nyay Patra Hain?” KTR asked.

With only 39 seats won by the BRS in the 119-member state legislature, compared to 64 by the Congress, the party lost power in the assembly elections that were held on November 30. Following their candidate’s defeat in May of this year in the by-election to the Secunderabad Cantonment assembly seat, which became vacant after BRS MLA Lasya Nandita died in a car accident in February, their number dropped to 38.

Afterwards, with the defection of six of its MLAs to the Congress in the last five months, the BRS total dropped even lower to 32. The Congress now has 71 members in the parliament.

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